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If you are new to the idea of cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM), it is only natural to have questions about it: What are its benefits? Can it really help a startup? Which are the best cloud-based CRM products? These are obviously crucial factors in selecting and implementing a CRM software system for your business.

There are a couple of major advantages to using a cloud-based CRM solution, especially for small companies or startups with limited financial resources. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the very affordable cost of buying and deploying the software. Cloud-based CRM offers you the same functionalities and features available to big business at a fraction of the price. Overheads are minimal and future updates are included in the price. Operating in the cloud also allows for increasing technological sophistication, offering you valuable communication and analytical capabilities. Business processes are automated and data is mined, often in real time, to provide you with significant insights. The flexibility of cloud CRM systems also allows you to easily scale up or down, which is certainly a strong incentive given the uncertainty inherent in any startup enterprise.

For a startup, the smart usage of an appropriate CRM software system can make a critical difference. Harnessing the opportunities afforded by CRM technology could help you kick-start your journey to the top. Software that is compatible with your business will help you establish strong customer relationships, build and expand your consumer base, increase revenues, and boost your reputation in a fiercely competitive environment. Choosing the best available option begins with assessing your startup’s structure, budget, and priorities. Based on these, you can then research the top packages offered by leading cloud-based CRM solutions providers.

One of the leading CRM solutions in the market is Salesforce. This premium package comes with a plethora of features and allows for substantial customization, which can work well for startups that have unusual business models or are operating in a unique environment. Powerful customer tracking and interaction capabilities enable thoughtful and targeted sales and marketing strategies. Another plus point is the real-time mobile application access across different platforms. A range of pricing plans is available, from USD 25-250 per user month. Another option is SAP Business ByDesign, which includes an excellent marketing module for companies to design cost-efficient marketing programs. With this CRM software, you can also handle customer service interaction and tracking through social media. Solid analytics and affordable pricing are other plus points.

Budget-conscious startups should also consider Oracle’s CRM solution, which provides a complete suite of integrated marketing, sales, and customer service modules as well as sophisticated analytical capabilities. The software’s flexibility and ease of use allow you to rapidly create customized reports. Sales-focused organizations can look at Pipedrive, which helps you manage your sales pipeline. This affordable and customizable product includes a customer tracking module as well as a reporting feature to write standard sales reports. However, Pipedrive is only compatible with iOS for now. For startups with a focus on customer communications, Close.io offers a fully integrated calling system that can track all sales-oriented customer interaction. However, social media and mobile applications capabilities are lacking. Compare the features of various packages to determine which cloud-based CRM system will help your startup achieve its key objectives. Remember, you do not need a package with every single available functionality – concentrate only on getting features that make sense for your own business.

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